New Evesham Abbey documents acquired

  • 15th February 2019

We recently accepted a deposit of a Court Book covering the Evesham Abbey lands in South, Middle and North Littleton. The item had been for sale at auction and following private purchase and assistance from the Friends of Worcestershire Archives, the book is now here in the archives. As it was sold under the Manorial Documents Rules it cannot be exported.

The book dates from c. 1539/40 and is written in both English and Latin.

The book contains transcripts of manorial records which are not known to exist elsewhere, including that made by the last abbot, Philip Hawford (or Ballard). The Abbey was suppressed in The Dissolution on 30 January 1540 so these records represent the very end of its life.


The majority of the book contains copies of court rolls. The purchase is particularly exciting as it helps fill a gap in the collection of court rolls which we already hold for the Litteltons, which can be found at in a collection which came from the Phillips family of Broadway (705:962 BA8965).


Very helpfully the first entry, the indenture of 1538, has been transcribed by Andrew Harris and Robin Whittaker, but anyone who wants to view the original are welcome to do so in the original archives searchroom during normal opening hours. As they are at present uncatalogued you will need to provide at least 7 days’ notice to view them, quoting reference BA16258.

Middle Littleton Tithe Barn, built 12th/13thC, c1950


2 responses to “New Evesham Abbey documents acquired”

  1. Rita Roberts says:

    Fabulous acquisition !!

  2. David Cox says:

    Having recently examined this MS briefly, I found that it includes transcripts of deeds from the reign of Edward VI (e.g. some of those illustrated in the blog) and later, and is therefore not monastic. My initial impression is that the document is a manorial survey, enabling a new lord of the manor to see retrospectively the title deeds of all his tenants. It may therefore date from c.1557, when the manor was sold by the Crown (see VCH Worcs. ii. 410). My tentative observations,however, need more detailed verification.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related news

  • 28th January 2020
Organic farming in Worcestershire, 1953 – 1979

Sophie is a student on the University of Liverpool’s Archive course. She has come to us for a placement, finding out about how we do things as well as carrying out a cataloguing assignment for her course. She’s written this blog about her time here, working on the Sandilands Plan Nursery archives. I had always...

  • 24th December 2019
Holly & Mistletoe Thefts

In the past we’ve told you about the Case of the Stolen Christmas Goose, but that wasn’t the only seasonal crime to have taken place in Worcestershire in the past. Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe were also targets, whether by individuals for themselves, or from enterprising people to sell it on. Tenbury is a big mistletoe...

  • 23rd December 2019
Christmas Cards to Vesta Tilley

Christmas cards feature in several of our collections, some of which we have shared before on our blog. Within the Vesta Tilley archive there are several Christmas cards which were sent to her, particularly during the First World war. Vesta Tilley, born Matilda Powles, was one of the top worldwide Music Hall artists of the...